Written by Ateka Gomaa
In your interview, there will be common interview questions that you will undoubtedly have prepared for, such as, ‘why do you want to study medicine?’.
But you may be asked some out of the box questions – these can relate to your Personal Statement, ethical scenarios or some more creative questions – such as ‘How much does a mountain weigh?’.
This might sound scary but it’s not as bad as it sounds. Most strange questions are actually a common question in disguise. For example, a question like ‘who is your role model and why?’ could have a similar answer to ‘what do you think are the most important qualities of a Doctor?’.
Some interviews also throw a bit of mathematics into the mix, so remember to brush up on your GCSE Maths.
Planning your answers on paper and practising them verbally are two very different things. The first time you practise your answers out loud you’ll feel like you’re waffling.
But with practice, you’ll hear yourself getting more fluent and your answers become slicker. Recording your answers will also help you hear which bits you can cut out and which bits you can improve.
Remember, it’s okay to mess up as much as you want during your interview prep – it only means that on the big day you’ll know exactly what to do (and what not to do!).
Looking calm, collected and confident is almost as important as what you actually say during your interview – first impressions matter.
Be sure to sit straight, speak clearly (and not too fast) and make good eye contact. This will give the impression of confidence and soon you’ll truly be feeling it too.
Believe it or not, but too much practise can be a bad thing if you get too comfortable with your answers – it’s obvious when someone is simply reciting their answer! A good way to avoid this is to never write out your answer in full when you’re preparing – bullet points are your friend. When you’re planning on paper, try to write down as little as possible – just enough to prompt you and jog your memory.
Even if you’ve practised your answers so much that you know them by heart don’t make it obvious. Keep those natural pauses as you talk and vary your tone of voice. If you do end up accidentally going off-script don’t make it noticeable and just take it in your stride.
Don’t go for clichés. Those generic interview answers will more likely bore your interviewers than guarantee you an offer.
You don’t need to be extravagant to stand out. Just think of answers that relate to you rather than ones you expect they will want to hear. Incorporating things you are passionate about into your answers will let your enthusiasm shine through.
If ever during your interview you feel like it’s not going well, stop, take a deep breath and collect your thoughts. Panicking and stressing will only make things worse.
Chances are that you’ll be feeling anxious in the run-up to your interview, especially if it’s your first one. But you need to look after yourself in order to smash it. Make sure you get a good night’s kip the night before and eat a decent meal beforehand on the day.
One of the scariest things is meeting fellow applicants before your interview who seem so effortlessly confident and at ease. Don’t let them make you feel small or panic that you won’t be good enough. They’re probably nervous too and you have just as much right to be there as they do.
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